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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30036
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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I have a 13 yr old Shih Tzu. He has lost bowel and bladder

Customer Question

I have a 13 yr old Shih Tzu. He has lost bowel and bladder control and has a general weakness. Occas his legs give out on him and he falls, sometimes he can't get up. He is also losing his fur along his spine. anything I can do to help him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am very sorry to hear how he is doing.With the combination of bowel and urinary incontinence, as well as, the weakness, that sounds strongly suggestive of a spinal problem. Specifically, a disc herniation in the area of the lumbosacral spine, where the tail meets the body. When neurologic function is impaired in that area, it can also result in the incontinence. If that is the case, unfortunately, there really won't be good medical management that can help. For the urinary incontinence, you could ask the vet about trying a medication called PPA (phenylpropanalomine) to help tighten the urethral sphincter. The fecal incontinence cannot be prevented with medication. So, your next best step would be to consult a neurologist for a second opinion to see if all of this is related to a primary spinal problem. The fur loss is likely a separate issue that is likely age related or could be associated with a separate endocrine problem like being hypothyroid (low thyroid hormone).Very sorry about all the symptoms, but hope that information helps some Good Luck!Dr. Andy
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 2 years ago.
Hi Donna,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sport. How is everything going?
Dr. Andy